May 8, 2019

Shorebird Nesting Updates

Posted by: Kate Tweedy

Shorebird Nesting Updates

     March marks the beginning of shorebird nesting season, and our first American Oystercatcher nests have been found! American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) are a priority species for conservation in Georgia, and they are certainly a priority for us on LSSI! Each year we track the success of our 15 oystercatcher pairs. So far, we are monitoring six active oystercatcher nests, and more are on the way. We hope to see chicks in a few weeks. Stay tuned for more updates as shorebird and seabird nesting activity peaks in May through June.

Kate Tweedy, LSSI Ecological Coordinator


In late May and early April, our seasonal Bird Technician begins searching for the first shorebird nests of the year. By studying the tracks that American Oystercatchers and other nesting shorebirds leave in the sand, we can learn more about their habits and even find their nests. Here we see oystercatcher (center) and Wilson’s Plover tracks (top and lower right). Can you spot the footprints of a tiny mouse that scampered over the sand? Photo by Kate Tweedy.

This oystercatcher nest was our first for 2019! Like other shorebirds, oystercatcher parents scrape the sand to form a shallow depression to hold their eggs. This simple nest is actually a clever strategy to blend in with the open coastal landscape. Their eggs are well-camouflaged too! Photo by Kate Tweedy.



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